Using state-of-the-art technology, the team has been looking into possible applications of fungi growing in the nearby Białowieża Primeval Forest.
"We are particularly interested in species that can decompose deadwood," a member of the team said, as quoted by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.
The scientists have established a bank of fungus cell extracts and tested these for anti-cancer activity, according to the Polish newspaper. One of the species, known as heterobasidion annosum, has proved to slow down cancer cell replication and increase their death rate, it reported.
Now the team will try to isolate the active substance and, if that proves successful, they will look to publish their research results in an international journal.
Last year, the team, which consists of scientists from the Medical University of Białystok and the Białystok University of Technology, was granted a patent that allowed it to further develop its project.
Since the study requires solid financing, the team is now seeking to secure funds for the next stages of the research, Gazeta Wyborcza reported.
Source: Gazeta Wyborcza